In 2001, while a player for the New York Knicks, it was discovered that Charlie Ward had made some disparaging comments about Jews during a Bible-study session, comments that were eventually leaked to the press. Among the comments made: "Jews are stubborn... tell me, why did they persecute Jesus unless he knew something they didn’t want to accept... They had his blood on their hands."
There was an expected amount of outrage directed at Ward from Jewish groups, as well as the Knicks organization and the public at large. Ward defended himself by indicating that "I didn't mean to offend any one group because that's not what I'm about. I have friends that are Jewish. Actually, my friend is a Jewish guy, and his name is Jesus Christ." He also noted that the quotes were taken out of context, as he had stated that "Jews are stubborn" in speaking to what he perceived to be their disinclination to convert to Christianity.